NSW's first female police commissioner
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Sydney - M E Times Int'l: New South Wales has appointed its first female police commissioner to replace outgoing Mick Fuller who revealed he would stand down from the top job next year.
Karen Webb, who is the current Deputy Commissioner for Corporate Services, will be the first woman to hold the position in the state.
"It's a great honour and a privilege to be selected as the next commissioner of NSW Police," Deputy Commissioner Webb said in a press conference on Wednesday.
"I'm humbled, I've worked 34 years in the police and I stand before you here today ready to take on the role as Police Commissioner."
Ms Webb thanked outgoing Mr Fuller for building the right "foundations" in the police force with her big focus on helping victims of crime.
"It's now time for a new leader and a new direction," she said.
"One of my key focuses will be on victims of crime, in particular, victims that need our support. So child abuse victims, victims of assault, sexual assault and domestic violence."
She hopes police will return to more traditional roles "where we safeguard the community" as the state shifts its focus from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"One of my first priorities will be to re-engage with our community and understand what our communities expect of the NSW Police force," she said.
Deputy Commissioner Webb hopes her role encourages more females to come forward to build an organisation that is "reflective of the community".
"When I joined the police there were only 10 per cent of females in the organisation. There are now 28 per cent of female officers and 35 per cent of females in the organisation. So we are continuing to grow and we will continue to grow.
"My role will be to build the organisation that is reflective of the community we serve so I look forward to growing our inclusion and our diversity in the organisation."
The Commissioner-elect joined the police force in 1987 and began her career at Castle Hill Police station in Sydney's north-west.
She has performed duties at the Child Mistreatment Unit, Drug Enforcement Agency, Detectives Training Unit and command roles at Forensic Services Group, Local Area Commands, Operations Manager, North West Metropolitan Region, Commander, State Surveillance Branch and Assistant Commissioner Police Transport & Public Safety Command and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.
Ms Webb was promoted to Assistant Commissioner at the Police Transport and Public Safety Command in 2018 where she was responsible for a number of frontline and specialist commands including Police Transport, Aviation, the Dog Unit, Major Events & Emergency Management Command, Marine Area Command, Mounted Unit and State Planning Unit.
In June 2020 she was appointed as the first female commander of the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command before being promoted to Deputy Commissioner for Corporate Services in July this year.
Outgoing Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says the future of the NSW Police Force "is in good hands".
"I am incredibly pleased following the appointment of Karen Webb APM as Commissioner of the NSW Police Force," he said in a statement.
"Commissioner-elect Webb is a highly experienced police officer, with 34 years of serving the community behind her. She has a strong record in operational leadership roles, and has made both an outstanding Region and Specialist Commander.
"The future of the NSW Police Force – and its 22,000 employees – is in good hands."
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller will step down when his contract ends in April next year.
Perrottet: NSW schools must ‘go back to basics’, stop being ‘woke’ in the classroom
Sydney: New South Wales schools need to go back to basics instead of being “woke in the classroom,” according to Premier Dominic Perrottet.
“We’ve just announced the first tranche of our curriculum review the other day,” he told News host Paul Murray.
“Ultimately we’ve got to get back to reading, writing, and arithmetic – the basics.
“Education reform is certainly on our agenda, it’s clear – not just in New South Wales, but nationally – that we’re falling behind.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have the best education system in the world; and that means going back to basics, not being woke in the classroom, and ultimately doing what we should be doing.”
NSW recorded 248 new cases of COVID-19
Sydney: Three cases have been excluded following further investigation, bringing the total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 80,219.
Sadly, NSW Health is today reporting two deaths.
A man in his 80s from western Sydney died at Nepean Hospital. He was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions.
A woman in her 60s from the Wollongong area died at Wollongong Hospital. She had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and had underlying health conditions.
NSW Health expresses its sincere condolences to their loved ones.
There are currently 195 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 35 people in intensive care, 10 of whom require ventilation.
There were 80,317 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 52,302.
Across NSW, 94.4 per cent of people aged 16 and over have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 92 per cent are fully vaccinated.
The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 12,799,251 to 11.59pm on Monday 22 November, 2021.
NSW Health encourages everyone who is eligible to book into a NSW Health vaccination clinic or another provider without delay through the COVID-19 vaccine clinic finder.
If you have just returned from overseas you must comply with the NSW Health Guidelines, including requirements relating to testing and restrictions on attending certain high-risk premises.
You must have a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours of arriving and also on or after day seven. You are not required to isolate while waiting for your results, unless you have symptoms.
NSW Health also encourages people planning to host overseas guests to make sure they are fully vaccinated before the guests arrive. Please remind guests of the testing requirements, to watch out for symptoms and support guests to get tested and avoid high risk locations.
If you are directed to get tested for COVID 19 or self-isolate at any time, you must follow the self-isolation rules.
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested immediately and self-isolate until you receive a negative test result.
There are more than 500 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week. To find your nearest clinic visit COVID-19 clinics or contact your GP.
Consent reforms pass parliament
Sydney: Mark Speakman, the NSW Attorney General Minister said in a media statement , that Common sense reforms to simplify sexual consent laws and to ensure more effective prosecutions of sexual offences have passed NSW Parliament today.
No law can ever erase the trauma of sexual assault, but we have listened to calls for change and consulted victim-survivors and legal experts to improve our response to sexual violence.
I thank victim-survivors, peak bodies, frontline services, legal experts, academics, and those across the criminal justice system for their thorough and thoughtful engagement.
I commend particularly survivor Saxon Mullins for her extraordinary bravery in sharing her lived experience and her tireless advocacy for victim-survivors to ensure their voices were heard, all of which has contributed to the passage of these reforms.
I acknowledge too the positive, collaborative and constructive way in which my Parliamentary colleagues across the political spectrum have engaged with this important bill.
The NSW Government’s affirmative consent model sets clearer boundaries for consensual sex, reinforces the basic principle of common decency that consent is a free choice involving mutual and ongoing communication, and reinforces that consent should not be presumed.
Under our reforms, if you want to engage in sexual activity with someone, then you need to do or say something to find out if they want to have sex with you too. It’s that simple.
While our bill built on legislative drafting suggested as part of the NSW Law Reform Commission (LRC) Report 148, it also went further by requiring a person to do or say something to find out whether the other person consented, in order to have a reasonable belief that they in fact consented to sex.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, support is available: call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or NSW Rape Crisis (1800 424 017).
100 days to go until Beijing Winter Paralympics
Sydney: Our Paralympic hopefuls have headed to Europe as they make their final bids to qualify for the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, which start in 100 days from today.
Minister for Sport Natalie Ward said Australia’s Paralympic aspirants are now in the Northern Hemisphere to compete in the current World Cup season, with qualification points up for grabs.
“Our NSW stars have put in an incredible effort to train hard and reach their peak performance, especially during recent months when they were unable to travel due to COVID restrictions,” Mrs Ward said.
“They’ve been supported by great coaches and support staff who have all done an amazing job at creating optimal training environments so our athletes can reach their potential.”
Our athletes will compete in snowboarding and alpine skiing events in Europe, aiming to qualify for the Games before the 14 February deadline.
Among those vying for selection is NSWIS scholarship holder Ben Tudhope, who hopes to take part in his third Winter Games as Australia’s only Para Snowboarder. Now aged 21, he was Australia's youngest ever Winter Paralympian when he made his debut in 2014 at Sochi.
“I’m very excited to showcase Para snowboarding to Australia and the world. Our sport has progressed rapidly with new and changed events since the Paralympics in Korea, so we’ll definitely be putting on a thrilling show,” Mr Tudhope said.
The Games will be held from 4 March to 13 March 2022, with Kate McLoughlin the first female Australian Chef de Mission to hold the position for a Winter Paralympics.
Return of skilled migrants an ‘early Christmas present’ for hospitality
Sydney: Restaurant & Catering Australia CEO Wes Lambert says the return of working holidaymakers and skilled migrants is an “early, huge Christmas present” for the nation’s hospitality industry.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Monday eligible visa holders as well as tourists from Japan and South Korea would be welcomed back without needing a travel exemption.
“It’s an early, huge Christmas present for the entire hospitality industry,” Mr Lambert told Sky News Australia.
“We certainly were lobbying and working with the government on solutions for the critical workforce shortage around the country and the ability now to have working holidaymakers, international students and skilled migrants enter NSW, Victoria and the ACT with quarantine-free returning travel to Australia will absolutely begin the long process of building that workforce back up.”
Mr Lambert also took time to praise the initiative.
“There is really no buts, the state and federal governments have done an amazing job at rolling out skills and training programs, like the path program that restaurant and catering is doing and many other organisations,” he added.
“So, we’re doing the right thing, we’re trying to skill up and train up Australians to fill those jobs – it certainly will begin to get us back where we need to be.”
South Australia welcomes interstate travellers
South Australia’s borders are open and thousands more people are planning to flood into the COVID-free state as the community prepares to live with the virus.
There is a mixed reaction to the opening from residents as some are wary the move will bring the virus into the state, and it is expected there will be 5,000 cases in the next 300 days.
Others are frustrated as the website needed to check in to enter the state is suffering constant technical difficulties.
For those who did manage to make it into South Australia, there is relief as families kept apart by the virus can reunite.
Nominations open for remarkable women in sport
Sydney: Nominations are now open for the annual Her Sport Her Way Awards to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women and girls in sport.
Minister for Sport Natalie Ward said the awards are a key initiative in the NSW Government’s ‘Her Sport Her Way’ Year Three Action Plan to advance equality in sport.
“These awards are a great opportunity to showcase our trailblazers in sport and inspire the younger generation to get involved at all levels,” Mrs Ward said.
“I encourage NSW sporting organisations and individuals to nominate an outstanding coach, official, administrator or leader who has made a significant contribution to sport becoming more inclusive and appealing for women and girls.”
The ‘Her Sport Her Way’ Year Three Action Plan covers 15 key areas, including removing barriers and advancing women leaders through strategic partnerships.
Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said it is important for young girls to see female representation in sport across the board.
“Whether it’s on the field or in the boardroom, having female role models in sport empowers young girls to see themselves in those same roles,” Mrs Taylor said.
“Last year Cricket NSW, Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT and Tennis NSW were honoured at the Awards for their strategic vision and leadership in delivering greater access to sport for women and girls.”
Other key actions in the Year Three Action Plan include funding to address participation and retention of teenage girls in sport and training and professional development support for aspiring female leaders.
The Her Sport Her Way 2021-22 Award categories include: Young Achiever, Local Champion, Outstanding Organisation, Trailblazers and Champion.
Nominations open today and close on Friday 14 January 2022. The award winners will be celebrated at a ceremony next year.
For more information, see www.sport.nsw.gov.au/hersportherway
Work underway on new Fish Markets
Construction work on the new Sydney Fish Market is underway, with foundation piling work starting on the revitalized cultural icon on Sydney’s waterfront.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the work was a major milestone for the $750 million Sydney Fish Market, improving the iconic destination and unlocking previously inaccessible harbour-front land for the community to enjoy.
“The Sydney Fish Market is a part of who we are as a city, part of our holidays and barbecues and it draws thousands of tourists. We’re finally giving it the building it deserves,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Not only will this create more than 700 jobs during construction, but also direct hundreds of millions of dollars of work to be awarded to local suppliers.
Minister for Jobs and Tourism Stuart Ayres said the new Sydney Fish Market will be within walking distance of Sydney CBD and includes easy access to current and future transport connections to improve the overall experience for local, interstate and overseas visitors.
“Once complete, the new Sydney Fish Market will play a vital role in attracting local and international visitors to bolster tourism in Sydney and stimulate the economy,” Mr Ayres said.
Greg Dyer, CEO Sydney Fish Market said the new Sydney Fish Market will strengthen its position as one of Australia’s most famous cultural icons.
“The refreshed and modernised Sydney Fish Market will retain an authentic seafood market experience to ensure it remains one of Australia’s leading tourist destinations. The iconic building will also strengthen pride in the Australian seafood industry...” Mr. Dyer said.
Daniel Murphy, Multiplex Regional Manager said Multiplex is excited to be partnering with the NSW Government on this pivotal project.
“The new Sydney Fish Market is a highly complex project being built under and over Blackwattle Bay. It will deliver an amazing outcome for the community and the Australian seafood industry,” Mr. Murphy said.
The New Sydney Fish Market is on track to be completed in 2024. For more information, visit insw.com/newsydneyfishmarket